The Gift of Writing

I don’t remember every day in the library during my sophomore year, but I remember why I was there.  I don’t remember seeing it as a blessing, but now I realize I was given a gift which I use even now.

I don’t remember the exact hour other than that it was lunch and I was in the cafeteria.  I don’t remember how many teachers were monitoring us.  There were never more than two.  I don’t remember how many boys faced me, but I remember the feeling that I needed to leave.  I remember thinking ignore them. It could not have been more than a few seconds.  I don’t remember walking away, but I remember seeing my sky blue, divided lunch tray shaking as I placed it on the long table. I don’t remember what was on the tray.  I can’t imagine I wanted to eat it.

My friend’s boyfriend was across from me.  I remember that he got mad enough that he walked over to the scary boy and his band of goons and said something.  I remember Greg’s angry eyes.  I don’t remember ever seeing those creeps again.  What every happened to those guys?

I don’t remember when I spoke to or what I said to my Spanish teacher, but she wrote the passes for me to go to the library all of those days.  I trusted her.  I don’t remember all the lies I told to get out of it, but I know that I never stepped foot in that cafeteria again that year.

I don’t remember how long I was scared, but I remember the calm of the library.  The silence broke only with the scratching of my pencil across my paper as I sat alone in a school of about three thousand staff and students.  The smell of dusty parchment still conjures feelings of comfort and safety.  I don’t know if I ever made the connection, but I was a library assistant to work my way through college.  Even now I dream of getting a post-grad degree to be a librarian.  I wonder.

I don’t remember how long it took me to notice the courtyard outside the library window, but I remember the snow covered saplings intertwined.  It took me more than one day to draw them, but I don’t remember how long it took me to remember to bring unlined paper.  I remember how the buds burst into leaves that spring.  I wondered if I should change the picture I drew to show the growth.  I still have the picture twenty-two years later.

I don’t remember all the activities I did during those hours in the library, but I remember drawing and writing.  I began writing poems.  I don’t remember how many I wrote, but I remember the ability to express myself produced a voice.  I kept my written thoughts in a pink and yellow tie-dyed folder, but I don’t remember how long I carried it with me.  My poems, writings and drawings are still in that folder today.

I don’t know the month and day, but I remember it was a Friday.  My white, tattered Bible was open on the floor.  My journal was next to it.  I don’t remember the words I prayed, but I remember the tears.  I hugged my knees and sat on the brown shag carpet in my bedroom leaning against the bunk bed.  I don’t remember how long, but I remember I didn’t want to leave.  I remember my company and beginning our relationship that night.  I don’t remember how many times I sabotaged the relationship, but I remember His constant embrace and ready forgiveness when I asked it of Him.

I remember feeling embarrassed by my inability to verbally share.  I thought on more than one occasion that in writing down my feelings someday, someone would know how I felt even if in that moment no one did.  Not even me.

I wrote.  I needed to be heard.  I drew.  He listened.

I ask you: What have you forgotten?  Where is your voice?  When will you use your gifts?

Courtyard Trees Outside Library

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About bethanyswanson

I am a Christ follower, wife, mother, writer, teacher, artist, cook, sister, daughter, grand-daughter, friend, laundry lady, house keeper, taxi service, sensory of movies and tv, and work in progress.
This entry was posted in Everyday Living, Sketches, Stories of Home and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Gift of Writing

  1. Betty Waller says:

    Hi Beth,

    I am so delighted to read your blog. I’m thankful for the special gift of writing and drawing you have. I agree with your mom on how grateful I am that you were spared any harm in highschool and for the way God kept you!
    Love,
    Aunt Betty

  2. I would have agreed with you when it happened, but I believe ALL things pass through the hands of God before they come to be. That being said, fear alone can be its own stumbling block. It is a lack of faith. God provided opportunities I would never have had otherwise. What a gift! Twenty-two years later, I still am able to use it. Would I have ever been given the opportunity to uncover this activity which brings such pleasure without also having to endure my own fears?

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